Essay on the Foundations of Geometry

Bertrand RUSSELL

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Item#: 113768 price:$1,500.00

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"IT WILL BE MY AIM TO AVOID, AS FAR AS POSSIBLE, ALL TECHNICAL MATHEMATICS, AND BRING INTO RELIEF ONLY THOSE FUNDAMENTAL POINTS IN THE MATHEMATICAL DEVELOPMENT, WHICH SEEM OF LOGICAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL IMPORTANCE": FIRST EDITION OF RUSSELL'S AN ESSAY ON THE FOUNDATIONS OF GEOMETRY, 1897

RUSSELL, Bertrand. An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry. Cambridge: University Press, 1897. Octavo, original blue cloth. $1500.

First edition of Bertrand Russell's first philosophical book.

"When, in summer 1894, Russell was awarded a starred first in moral sciences and invited to submit a fellowship dissertation, he chose as his topic 'the epistemological bearings of metageometry'. The dissertation was written within a year… Two years later a revised version was published as An Essay on the Foundations of Geometry, Russell's first philosophical book, in which he provides a partial defence of Kant's theory that the truth of geometry is a necessary condition of all possible experience. This, Russell argues, is correct, though not of Euclidean geometry but of the more abstract and comparatively modern system of 'projective geometry'… Russell later dismissed the book as a foolish and immature work… Nonetheless, principally through being reviewed at length and with great respect by the eminent French mathematician Henri Poincaré, it served to establish Russell's professional reputation" (DNB). "When viewed from the 19th century to which it belongs, however, Russell's first work on geometry stands as a strong and original contribution to a long mathematical and philosophical tradition. Many of its deepest insights represent the culmination of fifty years of British geometrical thinking" (Richards, 80). Ex-libris American University, with title page blindstamp, number stamp on preface, and other minor expected markings.

Light foxing to preliminary and concluding pages, only light wear and bubbling to original cloth, mild toning to spine. An extremely good copy.

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